Betts claimed off waivers; Woywitka on waivers; Palushaj, Blunden, Schultz to Hamilton

Blair Betts

New Canadien Blair Betts in action last season vs. the New Jersey Devils.
Bruce Bennett, Getty Images Sport

AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Jeff Woywitka | Max Pacioretty | Michael Cammalleri

12:45 pm update: The Canadiens have claimed penalty-kill specialist Blair Betts off waivers, and he’ll play in place of Andreas Enqvist (demoted to Hamilton) against the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday at the Air Canada Centre. The Habs also placed defenceman Jeff Woywitka on waivers; if he’s not claimed, he’s expected to report to the Hamilton Bulldogs. And forwards Aaron Palushaj, Michael Blunden and Ian Schultz have been assigned to the Bulldogs.

A Flyers blogger is sad to see Betts go:

Any Flyers fan can tell you that the power play has been more bad than good over the years. But while the Flyers have been lousy on their own power plays, they have been fairly good at killing those of their opponents. A big reason for that has been Betts. He has anchored the fourth line for a couple of seasons now but really shined when the team was killing penalties. Betts had taken nearly half of the faceoffs when the Flyers were shorthanded. Even through the 2011 preseason Betts looked like he was relishing his role as the penalty killer. I’m a little surprised the Flyers decided to part ways with him.

Betts will make $700,000 this season.

Remember Pierre Gauthier’s nice $4 million salary cap cushion?

The signings of Chris Campoli and Betts plus the demotion of Engqvist bring that down to $1.8 million.

•  •  •

The Betts signing  means demotion for Andreas Engqvist, who did not have a good preseason.

A righthanded faceoff and PK specialist, Engqvist entered training camp with the inside track on winning the specialist role vacated by the departure of Jeff Halpern.

The team announcement:

Montreal Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier announced today that forward Blair Betts has been claimed off waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers, while forward Andreas Engqvist has been assigned to the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs.
Betts was held pointless in three preseason games with the Flyers, recording 3 shots on goal. In 75 games with the Flyers in 2010-11, the 31-year old centreman registered 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists). One of his goals was tallied on the penalty kill and two were game-winning goals. He added 8 penalty minutes and 51 shots on goal. Since 2001-02, Betts has amassed 78 points (41 goals, 37 assists) in 477 regular season games with the Calgary Flames, New York Rangers and Flyers.
The 6’03’’, 210 lbs forward was the Flames second round pick (33rd overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.
In six preseason games with the Canadiens, Engqvist registered one assist. The 23-year old centreman recorded 3 shots on goal.

•  •  •

With one sleep until the regular-season opener, Pat Hickey asks:
“The Canadiens spent seven years convincing Alexei Yemelin that he should be playing hockey in North America, but now that he’s here the question is: Can they keep him here?”

• Hickey on the Yemelin dilemma

Red Fisher wraps up his Top 10 with numero uno, the 1970-’71 Canadiens

• Red on Patrick Roy

Moen looks good to go for opener

Boone on Shanahan inaction

Sean Gordon on the Malone hit

Marc Antoine Godin on Raphael Diaz and the PP

Which line for Cole?

Avery on waivers

871 Comments

  1. SeriousFan09 says:

    Betts claimed off waivers, Engqvist is not long for Hamilton now and he better get to work, Nattinen will be after his role quickly enough.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

    • likehoy says:

      how little trust does JM have with the young guys?
      are we that bad at development?

      – Gomez is holding down the “overpaid” button

      • I don’t think it’s as much being bad at development as it is so many players were graduated last season. Engqvist is clearly not NHL ready. Palushaj is closer but not there yet. Remember that we graduated 5 players from Hamilton last season and still have 2 rookie defensemen this year. Not many teams can graduate that many players and keep a strong reserve of players that are ready from day 1 of the season.

        http://twitter.com/andrewberkshire

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        No, Engqvist did not improve himself to play in the NHL for the coming season. His skating has not improved nor did he add the muscle that would let him be more effective.

        If he can’t follow an offseason training program, which the team almost certainly gave him saying this is what he needs to do to make the team than that is not JM’s fault. And we just graduated a quarter of the Bulldog’s best players to the team from last year.

        – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
        SF09 on Twitter

    • C_exacte says:

      ahahahahaha, no 4th rounder (a possible Gallagher) for them Flyers, eat it Burkie, trumped by the Ghost PG yet again!!

    • shiram says:

      Pfft that guy is big but no NHL fights in all his carreer, Habs are still smurf and stuff.

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • Mattyleg says:

        Careful… Vonnegut said it best: “Be careful what you pretend to be, because you are what you pretend to be.”

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

        • shiram says:

          I’m Pre-emptively posting the negative comments, so their effects will be lessened, if they get reposted.
          It’s not a tough job, but no one really has to do it.

          If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

  2. cuzzie says:

    Blair Betts acquired by Habs.

    Stay Thirsty My Friends!

  3. rdiddy says:

    sweet! Habs claim Blair Betts off waivers. Great pickup for the 4th line!

  4. Chrisadiens says:

    Im starting to think if Markov wasn’t injured, Yemelin might have progressed a little more through preseason. The language barrier has to be tough for him. He needs Markov as badly as the Habs need Markov.

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

    • J_P says:

      Even though markov isnt playing, he is still around. Seems like this yemelin guy acts like he has some kind of chip on his shoulder. Holding out coming here all these years, making demands that he cant be sent to the AHL if he comes here, showing up to camp out of shape…

      I do agree that theres probably some issues with adapting, and he probably came in with that cocky KHL player attitude that the NHL isnt much tougher than the KHL. If his attitude doesnt sour, and the organization does everything to work with him, Im sure hell be ok. It would definitely be nice to have a heavy hitter on the blueline. A guy who makes the opposition forwards think twice. We havent had that in a while.

    • KevinT says:

      Totally agree…..I really hope we don’t give up on him. With Markov in his corner, he could be some of the grit we’re all aching for.
      I hope he can exhibit enough patience to stick through the tough times (low ice time) until that happens.

      Question: Who would we want more over the long tern (2-4 years)? Yemelin or Diaz? Time will tell I guess.

  5. slychard says:

    @CARDIAC. I’ll tell you what I find disrespectful and unprofessional, the way Red finished that article, in mid thought, like he fell asleep at the typewriter.

  6. HabsFanInTampa says:

    With all due respect. What is with all this love being showered upon Yemelin? I saw absolutely nothing in the 7 or so preseason games that warrants such praise upon his play so far.

    • shiram says:

      It’s his potential to be that big physical presence on the blue-line.
      People have been longing for that for quite some time, so they are not ready to give up on him yet.

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

    • J_P says:

      You cant base his talent on 7 pre-season games. The hope is that he turns out to be an Anton volchenkov type player. He’s still young and adjusting to life in a new country, and playing in a new league so lets cut him a little slack.

  7. Cardiac says:

    What I find funny about the Roy article is how “unprofessional and a gross disrespect for the sweater he wore” when he walked out on the team.

    Let’s face the facts… Management failed the organization. Here you got two loud, outspoken, egotistical men in Roy and Tremblay. As GM and President of the team, Houle and Corey had an obligation to the organization to bring these two together to work out their problems. Both were unwilling (or unable, take your pick) to do so which resulted in one of the worst trades in this organization’s history. A trade they should have never been forced to do in the first place. It crippled this team for years.

    When looking at the whole picture, every detail about how that incident was handled has disrespect and professionalism written all over it.

    “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
    – Jerry Maguire

    • avatar_58 says:

      And with all due respect I side with Roy over the other blowhard suits

      • Cardiac says:

        As do I… as do I…

        “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
        – Jerry Maguire

      • J_P says:

        Roy is quite the blowhard himself, but I definitely side with him.

        Tremblay was all about himself and his ego, and he was a terrible coach. I still cannot believe that the organization sided with him over a goalie who literally stole two stanley cups for us.

    • joshua94k says:

      Mario Tremblay is too blame not Roy. With an 8-0 score you do not keep your goalie in the game when the team in front of him gave up. This was a personal vendetta by Tremblay to show his authority. Tremblay was a rookie coach with no prior NHL experience and he showed it. So did Houle, who was not ready for the GM role.

      Nobody should question Roy’s respect for the Habs jersey. Did Red Fisher forget Roy risking injury during the 93 play-off series against the Nordiques when he froze his shoulder and came back in the game.

      What about the 94 play-off when he had an operation and came back, again risking his career.

      Players are not paid during the play-offs. They only get bonus money if they win a series. Roy played for his team.

      That’s why his jersey is retired. After that fiasco against the Red Wings, I would fire Tremblay and not trade Roy.

      • Bripro says:

        Don’t forget Houle and Corey. Neither had enough backbone to tell Tremblay to settle down.
        You don’t give up your start player because you’ve got a king-sized ego. That was the end of the Habs’ respectability in the NHL.

    • bleedhabs81 says:

      I also had a problem with that statement. Of course, I was surprised to be reading a Red article which seemed positive, so it wasn’t a surprise that there was something negative in that article.

      Hindsight is 50/50, but even as a 10 year old kid, I knew management just made the biggest mistake. If I was management at the time, I would have pulled Patrick aside and figured out what i could do to have him continue to play for the Habs. If that meant firing everyone in suits or trading every last player away… so be it. I would rather build a team around Roy than anyone else in the league at that point (even Gretzky or Mario).

      This day, in my opinion, is the darkest day in Habs history. It ushered in a very stormy era that is only just starting to clear up.

      No wonder we put so much pressure on Price… we just want things to be good again. We want a foundation to build on, which we have not had since Roy left (no insult to Koivu… but he was not that player).

    • KevinT says:

      I totally agree that management (especially Tremblay) was far more in the wrong on that fateful night against Detroit. I also fully agree that Roy is well-deserving of induction into any hall of fame (NHL, Quebec, etc) pertaining to Hockey greatness.

      However, I too was strongly (can’t emphasize this enough) opposed to the Habs retiring his #33 into the rafters. In my opinion, this honor should be reserved for players who dedicated themselves fully to the organization, wore the uniform with pride and integrity. He walked out on the team (fully admit he had just cause) but imagine if he had reacted with more poise and professionalism? I bet Tremblay would have been gone within a week or two had management had the opportunity to digest what went down that night. Roy could have come out with all the support in the world had he not given in to his ego and attitude.
      Also, he went on to win even more in Colorado and have his Jersey retired there!

      We should understand that performance on the ice is only one of several factors that should be considered for # retirement. Dedication to the organization, dedication to the city of Montreal, bleeding “bleu, blanc, rouge” are intangibles that define the difference between being a “hall-of-famer” and one worthy of having your number retired. The way I see it, with everything he gave the team and the city, Saku Koivu is far more deserving of being commemorated with the honor than “Saint-Patrick”.

      Greatness? absolutely… Worthy of jersey retirement in Mtl? No way.

      Having Roy’s jersey retired here, in my mind, is being blatantly disrespectful to the other players who were up there before him. To put his name beside legends like Beliveau, Lafleur, Richard and Robinson is a joke.

      • Cardiac says:

        Given everything you stated, do you think Koivu’s jersey should be retired?

        “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
        – Jerry Maguire

        • KevinT says:

          Man, I don’t know. There is the other part where he didn’t contribute to a cup in the 11 years (or so) he was captain. I think retiring a jersey is an incredible honour that should not be doled out easily. Again, compared to the guys up there now? Maybe not.

          Let’s just say, all things considered and looking at their respective time in Mtl, my opinion is that Saku did more to earn it than Roy did.

  8. Duke_Rauol says:

    Did Woywitka not have a way deal? why does he have to clear?

    We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold……

  9. zak says:

    TO picks up Steckel. Best faceoff percentage in the league, good on the PK, and a big body.Was PG aware that he was availible?. Could have sent Engqvist to the Bulldogs. They got him for a 4th round pick

    • Maksimir says:

      Read a report that says he is also slow, doesn’t use his size as expected and loses his positioning quickly. And don’t forget this guy averages like 10 points a season.

      Habs don’t need someone like that.

  10. HabsFaith says:

    Palushaj to Hamilton

    Weber will likely be traded at some point in the season I feel… he doesn’t seem to fit in any of the coaching staffs plans.

  11. slychard says:

    Ive tried to do what you describe but.It’s just that my thumbs are getting tired.

  12. twilighthours says:

    I’m a bit sad that Diaz has stolen Weber’s job. I still think that Weber will be a solid #4 or very good #5/6 at some point in his career.

    But there’s still room for Yemelin and Diaz on this team. There’s room for any new D on a team that still has Spacek in the top 6. Jaro will be better this year than last, but I’d still rather give those minutes to a young buck.

    ————————————–
    If you’re sick of not being able to view the HIO comment structure from your iPhone, try downloading Mercury browser. If you have alternative suggestions, please send them along!

  13. petefleet says:

    What about Yemelin?

    Who cares? I saw absolutely nothing in camp that would suggest he wanted to stay with the Habs. Diaz outplayed him at every turn. Good for him. Yemelin did not impress. Diaz did. You don’t have to be an NHL scout to see that.

    Shanny sucks. If the players are responsible for their sticks – no matter what – then they should be responsible for their checks. I have watched that hit over and over and have tried to put Shanny’s perspective into the play. I can’t. He’s wrong. Malone is an a**hole who was looking to hurt someone and the NHL just told him it’s OK for him to do it again. All the bu**sh*t in the world can’t change that. Same goes for the Chara hit last year. Both of these will have another victim. I just hope it’s not a Hab and nobody gets hurt bad. Did I mention that Shanny sucks.

    ******************************************
    I didn’t say you were lying, I said I don’t believe you.

    ***Habs Forever***

    • shiram says:

      Agree with all that, but it would be good if Emelin can get some ice time in North America, at least give him a better longer try.
      The kid could be exactly what alot of people on here have been clamoring for, if only the team gives him the time to adapt.
      I think some time on the first D pairing in Hamilton would help him, get him tons of PP and PK time too, so he can get the feel for those, but that might not be possible with the clause in his contract.

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

      • petefleet says:

        Yeah, you’re right. Time in Hamilton would do wonders for him as far as getting used to the ice surface goes. My concern is effort level. Maybe it’s conditioning. I don’t know. Diaz just worked harder and now it has paid off for him. Time will tell.

        ******************************************
        Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

        ***Habs Forever***

        • shiram says:

          Yemelin definately had a preseason where I did not see him much, I thought that was mostly because he was not making errors, but he also was not spectacular in any way.
          Hopefully he gets his chance to ramp up his effort level.
          Diaz did outwork Emelin for sure, but they do not play the game the same way either.

          If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

          • petefleet says:

            True again, definately different styles. I would have like to see the hard hitting Yemelin in preseason, but I’m not sure that would have been enough. Diaz is very good with the puck, Yemelin didn’t shine there either.

            ******************************************
            Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

            ***Habs Forever***

    • Bripro says:

      One of the biggest obstacles in trying to keep Yemelin here is that he’s signed a two-way. That means much less money in Hamilton than he would make in the Kontinental league.
      I don’t see that happening. And I watched him during a pre-season game and found that he plays the zone very well.
      I agree with Shiram that he wasn’t spectacular, but he didn’t make too many blunders.
      He’s not as physically imposing as we thought him to be, but he seems pretty solid, and I agree, he needs more ice time at this level.
      I would pair him on the 3rd D, and relegate Spacek to the 7th D-man.

  14. slychard says:

    Yes mommy. That last one was for RGM. I assumed he would know.

  15. habs11s says:

    Best acting job of the season… Brian Burke saying that Ron Wilson is the best coach out there….

    Also, its nice to Tim “the Band-aid” Connolly is already out with an injury…

    ____________________________________________________

    “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

    • Cardiac says:

      Band-Aid? More like Plan B?

      “There’s genius everywhere, but until they turn pro, it’s like popcorn in the pan. Some pop… some don’t.”
      – Jerry Maguire

  16. The Dude says:

    The best thing about yesterday’s emotional topic is I get to say”told you so”after our next beatdown which is probably gonna happen in T.O. and I expect DIon “sloppy seconds” to be the first to lay out one of our players!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Yes that must be the best thing about yesterday, couldn’t be the fact the sun rose and set, but rather your prophetic statements of doom and gloom as it pertains to the Habs. Enjoy your half glass of whatever your drink is, I think i know already if you view it full or empty.

    • Chorske says:

      That’s the easy part about being a Negative Nelly, isn’t it. If the Habs win, you can be happy but still find a million reasons to devalue the win. If they lose… well then they lost and you’re still happy. There is no personal risk in being a pessimist; it takes real courage to be an optimist.

  17. durocher says:

    Palushaj and Schultz have been sent down to Hamilton, Blunden is on waivers

  18. slychard says:

    It was and I might add I was tremendously happy and proud of the man when his hard work paid off for him and our team. He’s a true Habitant/American.:-)

    • HabinBurlington says:

      @slychard, I am assuming you do most of your posting from a handheld device. When you do your posts it would be helpful if you let us know who your comment is directed at for context. I am not bitching, but rather see your comments and often wonder what it may pertain to is all.

      Cheers!

  19. well in other news, feds are gonna replace the champlain, much to the outrage of people in alberta

  20. Rainrocket16 says:

    Does anyone have an factual depth chart for the Habs as of right now…It shows Leblanc as the 4th line center on CBS sports. That can’t be right.

    • Mike D says:

      That’s because it’s CBS sports….the non-source for all things hockey.

      – Honestly yours

      • HabinBurlington says:

        I can’t remember where Jim Nantz predicted the Habs to finish this year, I know Boomer Esiason said the Cincinnati Stingers are for real this year though.

      • Mattyleg says:

        I was just looking at Al-Jazeera Sports, and it says that Malakhov is going to make a big impact on D for us this year.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • habs11s says:

        I read a Toronto based newspaper today that says that Patches is currently out indefinitely with a concussion…
        ____________________________________________________
        “How would you like a job where when you made a mistake, a big red light goes on and 18,000 people boo?” -Jacques Plante

  21. habpunk says:

    what troubles me?
    leafs pick up Steckel, at 6’6″, a center, and the best faceoff center in the league!
    how longhave we been talking about the habs needing a big center and needing help winning faceoffs???

    it sure would be nice if we had a competent GM, who actually addressed our needs!
    18 years and counting.
    until PG and JM are gone, this team wins NOTHING, and remains a soft small mediocre team!

    • habs03 says:

      LOOL

      Steckel might as well be 5’6 with how soft he plays. All he can do is win face-offs, but we need a right handed face-off man not another lefty.

      • ZepFan2 says:

        You’re wrong. Steckel can also head shot with the best of them. Just ask Sid.

        ———————————————————————-
        Welcome to the newer NHL: The National Headshot League.

    • DearyLeary says:

      Wait wait wait… so you’re saying that the Leafs, who haven’t made the playoffs in umpteen years, have a better GM/Coach than the Habs.

      Thanks for playing.

    • shiram says:

      Doen’t the team have 48 or 49 players signed, meaning we can only 1 or 2 more players? I’d rather those spots be kept for more worthwhile players, inc ase of injury, trade or whatever.
      Let the kids we have play, they need the TOI to adapt to NHL level play.

      If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

    • ill say it again, devils fans were glad to find a taker

    • HabinBurlington says:

      No doubt the Habs appear to still need help in the faceoff circle, that is an area of criticism that seems valid to me. I am not sure Lou trades Steckel to Montreal for a 4th round pick though. Lou knows the pick won’t be as high from Mtl, Lou also knows Montreal is competing regularly for a higher Eastern position than Toronto.

      I do see the pickup of Steckel as good for T.O. but the guy appears to be faceoff only help. His point totals are awful and that includes playing on the highest scoring team in the NHL. Aside from some unintentional collisions where his elbow/shoulders fly out without prior knowledge of Crosby being the target he doesn’t play as physical as one would think with his size.

    • Mike D says:

      In addition to the replies above mine, I’ll also point out that this is his 3rd team in like 9 months. Good players don’t typically get traded that much in such a short time span.

      Also keep in mind that TO has some injuries to their Centres ATM and needed someone to plug a hole. They also needed a defensively responsible C and Steckel meets the criteria in addition to being good on faceoffs (which they also needed).

      – Honestly yours

    • C_exacte says:

      Two things, how many faceoffs does he take per year?? if he only takes 2 and wins those 2 he’s 100% on faceoffs, what an unstoppable machine!!! and secondly would you give a 4th rounder (possibly another Gallagher) for a 10 year vet that put up a whopping 12 points on 2 teams with insanely skilled superstars? so BIG DEAL for the Leafs, Komisarek will just turnover the puck right after the faceoff win anyways.

  22. slychard says:

    That’s wright RGM! I gave kudos for Max for having the balls to assert himself by making that statement. It proved to me that he was serious in furthering his development properly to make it to the big show. And it worked. Obviously he backed it up with numbers in Hamilton before being called up and continuing on his torrent pace AS A TOP SIX! Of course Chara had to spoil the fun but I digress, obviously management also took notice and rewarded his shutzpa accordingly.

    • RGM says:

      It was an eye-catching statement for sure and he definitely showed that he wanted to not only make the team but take on a key role. Respect level went up big time for that statement.

      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

  23. HabinBurlington says:

    Every team in the NHL has players that don’t fit their plans and they are forced to move on without via trade, via free agency. Montreal is not the only team which passes on players. An example you ask?

    Thomas Fleischman, very talented player, but the Caps have moved on.
    Heck Philadelphia chose to move away from Richards and Carter, granted it was a trade, but look at that talent leaving the city, that has gotta be the coaches fault there.
    Look at all the players Chicago has had to move away from the past couple years.

    My point is yes SK74 is fitting in good in Nashville, but he would of been a 3rd line player here and that wouldn’t play to his strengths. Ryan Obyrne didn’t work out here, and the jury is out on whether he is really providing that much to a talent starved Avalanche team.

    And if Gomez indeed has an impact year, well I will take the upside on that over Ryan Macdonough. No disrespect to the Dman, he appears to be on his way to becoming a solid dman for a long time in this league.

    Gotta go, some RedWIng fans are going nuts here beside me still bitching about the team giving up on Marcel Dionne.

  24. Mattyleg says:

    Hey! Hey!
    Sean WAIVERy!
    Eh??
    I just made that up!
    Ohhhhhahahahahaaa…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  25. DLN-CH4Life says:

    Yemelin has a two way contract but with the NHL and the KHL, not NHL-AHL….At least I believe so.
    How does it work if we keep him as a scratch? Can we do that?
    Not to mention, if he wants to get better he needs to play…No matter where that is.

    -DLN

    • Mike D says:

      No such thing as a 2way NHL-KHL contract. The leagues have no agreement with each other.

      His contract is 2way NHL-AHL with a (rumoured but likely true) clause that states he has the option to leave if he gets sent down to the AHL. We can keep him as a scratch and he would get paid his full NHL salary. Not sure he has the option to leave though if he stays in the NHL.

      – Honestly yours

      • HabinBurlington says:

        The other thing to consider is, if indeed he likes what he sees in the potential of playing NHL hockey in Mtl, he may recognize that a partial season in the AHL is not the end of the world. He would have Avtsin down there to hang with. Plus one of my Aunts is from Ukraine she taught my wife how to make a mean Russian Mustard and some sweet Cabbage Rolls, I could have him over for dinner and play some russian music for him.

  26. Timo says:

    Can you folks believe it? Real hockey starts tomorrow. Man, it has been such a long summer. I can’t wait even though I realize that it will be an even longer season. Still, at least something to watch on the tube 3 times a week.

    As for Yemelin… he’ll stick around. D will get banged up and injured pretty soon and he’ll be in the lineup. Maybe Habs will glue his ass to a bike to lose some of that pot-belly he’s got.

    Come on, tomorrow!

  27. ed lopaz says:

    the problem with yemelin is a combination of several factors:

    1) the KHL is not the NHL. people I know have seen games live over there – they are no hitting, up and down the ice, shinny games compared to the NHL.

    Question: name 1 defenceman who has made the jump from the KHL to the NHL and has an impact on his NHL team??

    2) Gauthier blew the file. Given that there was a very real chance that Yemelin would have trouble adapting – he played poorly against 1/2 NHL teams made up of AHL and Junior players; Gauthier needed to sign either the Wiz or Hamrlik – one or the other.
    By not signing either, Yemelin was given a big fat guarantee in his contract that he would play NHL, and thats exactly how he came to the camp – big and fat!!
    He is way out of shape – not even close to NHL standards.

    3) Martin loves conservative stay at home d-men that have experience.
    Yemelin does NOT PLAY STAY AT HOME CONSERVATIVE hockey.
    Yemelin likes to join the rush.
    Yemelin likes to pinch at the blue line.
    Yemelin likes to play an offensive, medium to high risk style of defense.
    Yemelin might be 25 but he is NOT EXPERIENCED in the NHL game or the smaller ice surface.

    All this being said…..I like some of what I have seen from Yemelin.

    I think he has potential – and he has shown it.

    The HABS NEED A PHYSICAL PRESENCE ON DEFENCE!!!

    I hope Yemelin is a quick learner, and he spends about 3 extra hours every day for the next month in the gym.

    Habs hockey is “smart” hockey – we play 5 man defence, not just 2 – we move up the ice as a 5 man unit, we back check with 5.

    • Kooch7800 says:

      I do think they had higher hopes for Yemelin. He will adapt but I really think we should have kept Hamrlik. For a two year deal who cares he would still help out our back end.

      I don’t think they were expecting Markov to still be out. If Markov is back soon our D isn’t so bad but we are a couple injuries away from being in big trouble on D

      • Mike D says:

        Pretty tough to sign a 37 year old Dman to a 2 year deal, especially when you already have 2 other Dmen over 37….especially at the $$$ Hamr got.

        Believe me, if we would have resigned him, even to the 1 year deal PG offered him, the doom and gloom crowd would be rabid in saying how old and slow our D is.

        – Honestly yours

  28. Gerry H says:

    Alright, the show starts tomorrow night, so it’s time to sum up where I think this team is going this year. I’m quite optimistic.

    They were patchy last year, but showed an ability to compete with any team in the league when all cylinders were firing. Injuries definitely limited their progress and too many half-hearted efforts sealed that deal. Price and Subban exceeded expectations, as did, briefly, Pacioretty. Gomez sucked. Pouliot sucked. Spacek groaned under the burden of too many minutes and too little conditioning. AK played the melancholy Dane, looking for identity and consistentcy, only briefly finding it with, ironically, an actual Dane named Larry.

    So what’s different? The team’s most glaring need was finally addressed by picking up a certified Power Forward in Cole. Pacioretty is back and healthy and looking more than ready to pick up where he left off. Between them, these two alone add a degree of “Size and Grit” that is undeniable. Throw in a rejuvenated Gomez and fast developing Eller, subtract the non-loss of Pouliot and more significant loss of Halpern, and I call it a solid, incremental upgrade up front.

    On the back end, Gorges is back and compensates for his 7/10 skill level with 13/10 heart. We have at least the prospect of a mostly healthy season from Markov, which one can reasonably expect to represent a VERY big upgrade over our best available D last year, especially, and vitally, on the PP. PK Subban will, one hopes, continue to march toward Norris potential. Stir in two new options on the third pairing in Diaz and Yemelin who offer, respectively, canniness and more of the “size and grit,” and I think we’re also talking upgrade. The loss of Hamrlik is very significant, moreso the longer Markov sits, but that will hopefully be offset somewhat by a better conditioned and less overworked Spacek, at least to a degree.

    The only doubt I have is on the GT front. Make no mistake, I have no lack of faith in Price, but to expect an improvement on his performance last year is asking too much. Factor in an unfortunate, in my opinion, substitution of Budaj for the surprisingly effective Auld and I see a small step backward, especially if, as appears to be the case, the plan is to lighten Price’s workload.

    Predictions are a mug’s game, but I’m as comfortable as I have been in at least two decades in expecting this team to compete for the Division lead all season. Beyond that, who knows…

  29. slychard says:

    Hopefully you’ll have good weather, we’ve had rain the last few days. None today though. I’ll be sitting on the bench outside with a Polish girl as always. Bring me a poutine.:-)

  30. nick says:

    The #Canadiens announced Wednesday that forward Aaron Palushaj has been assigned to the Bulldogs.

    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=594476

  31. shiram says:

    Yemelin’s fat, Spacek is old, Gill is slow, Subban is too flamboyant, Pleks, Gio, Cammy, DD are smurfs, Gomez is overpaid, Budaj is the worst goaltender in the league, Kostitsyn is inconsistent, Moen is useless, MaxPac will not be able to keep the pace he had last year, Weber is not even good enough a D to keep his spot, Markov will never play again, Gorges is not good enough, JM is an awful coach who cannot develop rookies, and PG is a fruity vegan with a penchant for the softest of hockey players.

    Can we talk about anything else now?

    If you don’t grok it, drokk it!

  32. sauster says:

    My take on the Yemelin situation is that he needs to earn his spot on the roster… This is the way Martin works. With all the injuries, he’ll get his chance sooner than later; the question is, will he be fine and ready when it happens?
    It seems he showed up to camp less than ready and after not breaking the opening lineup, will his motivation dwindle even further? I hope not because he seems like a decent prospect. It is in these situations that I think the Habs need a better moral support system… Something better than Gainey taking a walk in old Montreal with the player.

    TheHockeyRecord.com
    Recalling hockey records daily and taking an in-depth look at what they mean for the game of hockey.

    • nunacanadien says:

      Not everyone can thrive in a five on five rigid style of play. Imagine if Martin had the likes of Crosby, Ovechkin, Martin St. Louis, even scoring defense like Erhoff and gang, JM wouldn’t last a minute in any of the big teams. Which is sad, we used to think Montreal was one of the big teams, both in size but also in respect and in winnings. Look at what we have become, a team that makes excuses for Gomez, for that hit on Campoli, cause we are a team of wimps, we get bullied around easily! Thank you Pierre Gauthier for giving us the wimpiest Habs ever!

      • G-Man says:

        Follow the truculent laffs; they are all giants and they are nasty and fight and everything. One thing though: they lose like it’s a bad habit they haven’t broken since what, the lockout?

  33. slychard says:

    Spach & Pleck speak Checzh. Markov and AK can translate, although AK’s English is limited to ‘shoot puck score goal’

  34. mjames says:

    A few thoughts:

    (1) The following is quote from Hickey’s column.
    “Moen is a dependable forward with a penchant for scoring big goals.”

    Does Hickey even read what he writes. i have yet to see Moen score more that a few goals a year. He has averaged 5 goals a year for the past 6 years.

    (2) I have read where Pouliot is looking like a stud for Boston while SK74 is a top six forward, O’Byrne is a top for 4 Dman as is McDonough for the Rangers. Now I read where after a few exhibition games we might lose Emelin. I have to say there is probably more upside to Emelin playing than there is say Spacek. We are not going to renew Spacek. Play Emelin so he can adapt .
    Martin has never won anything although he has been sucessful in failing to develop young talent. He is the reason we lost SK74. He treated the kid dirt and the kid rebelled. We can not seem to to develop our players with any consistency. Please don’t give me Pax as an example of our ability to develop. He did not even want to play for martin if you recall. The list is much longer on those we have failed to develop.

    It is only a matter of time before we lose AK46, the one pure passer on the team.

    mjames

    • Mike D says:

      Regarding your 2nd point…

      “Reading” that Pouliot is a stud means nothing. Even if it’s accurate, it’s only been pre-season. By that same token, Brendan Gallagher looked like a stud for us as did Beaulieu. Both of them are back in junior. If Benny puts up a whole season of good play and production, then we can revisit.

      Ask yourself if SK74 would actually be a top-6 forward on our team, or any team in the league with decent depth? If you say he’d be top 6 on our squad, then tell me who he replaces and pushes down the depth chart to the 3rd line. Nashville is a financially poor team with almost no forward depth, that is why he’s top 6 there.

      OB played top 4 only when he forst got there and had a few good games. He slid down the depth chart pretty quick and that was/is on a bad Avs team. I hate talking negatively about him b/c his exit interview from Montreal was extremely classy and endearing, but I doubt he’d be top 4 even in Colorado, let alone top 6 with us.

      As for McDonagh, I’ll agree that it was not necessary for Gainey to include him in order to acquire Gomez. We were doing NYR enough of a favour by taking on his contract. That said, NYR’s D-core is EXTREMELY young. If that wasn’t the case, I’m not sold he’d be on it. Not saying he isn’t or won’t ever be good enough to stay in the league, just that the D situation in NYR works heavily to his advantage ATM.
      ———-
      Yemelin will get his chances to play. Don;t hit the panic button just yet on that.

      As for AK46, I hope we don’t lose him, or at least not without getting something in return.

      – Honestly yours

    • Stev.R says:

      Its easy to say that we traded away players that were good but weren’t treated properly here, but there is no way of determining that causality. It’s just as likely that it was their problem and that it took a trade to another city for them to realize they needed to shape up. It could be that after being another year older they matured and now knew to work harder. Maybe they move to another team with better players around them to make them look good. Maybe just players that fit better with them. Maybe they are on a team where there is less talent and they are able to be put into a role where they could flourish. In any case, you can’t conclude that players do better when they leave because we can’t develop players. Also, think of all the good players we had who sucked after they left. Komisarek, Souray, Maxwell, Perezhogin, etc.

    • RGM says:

      1. Yeah that time Moen scored the Stanley Cup winning goal doesn’t count eh? He’s had a couple other timely ones over the years as well. But it’s easier to blast the writer than doing the research.
      2. SK74 is a top six forward on a team that finished 21st in goals for and 15% PP efficiency. O’Byrne is a top 4 d-man on a non-playoff team and finished a -7 with zero offensive contribution. Pouliot can hope to be a replaceable third-liner at best as a reclamation project for the Bruins. McDonagh may have hope, jury is still out there. This entire paragraph is nothing more than “the grass is always greener” thinking. Instead of lamenting the replaceable players we have lost, how about pumping the tires of the ones we do have on the roster that are primed for a new season?
      Also, your statement about Pacioretty and saying “he did not even want to play for Martin” is disingenuous at best, outright false at worst. It may be the case that you misremember what Pacioretty said, so I will quote it directly for you:
      “I just don’t see the need, for my development, to play the bottom two lines in the NHL because ultimately I feel I’m going be a top-6 forward,” said Pacioretty. “That’s what I want to be. I’ve experienced the bottom two lines in Montreal and it’s obviously not what’s going to develop me into the player I want to be.” “If it’s not in that situation, I don’t feel the need to be in Montreal,” said Pacioretty. “They have enough third-, fourth-line players to take on that load. If they think they can plug me into the top-6, I’d be happy with that. Probably would be the best thing for me.

      “Hopefully if that does happen, I’d be able to stick there and have the coaches show confidence in me if I make a mistake. Hopefully stick with that line instead of getting put down on the bottom two lines,” he said. “If I did get put down on the bottom two lines, I rather stay in Hamilton.”
      Source: http://www.suddendeathhockeyforums.ca/forums/archive/index.php?t-196.html

      He said he didn’t want to play in the bottom six with the big club. Jacques Martin’s name does not come up in the discussion as being someone he didn’t want to play. Come on, man, nobody says that they don’t want to play in the NHL because of the coach.

      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

    • RGM says:

      Post so nice I had to say it all twice.
      ———————–
      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

  35. slychard says:

    The bull…ha! No one goes there, least not the locals. It’s pretty dead this time of year so anywhere you go you’ll have plenty of elbow room. I’m going to Hog’s breath this Friday to see my friends playing there. I’ll be wearing a habs hat so you can hang out with us if you like.

    • Paulin98C says:

      I was told to check that place out as well. My plane lands at 5pm… I’ll be hitting Ambrosia cause I love my sushi. Probably hit the Hog’s breath after. Unfortunately going there for work and not pleasure so I pretty much only get Friday and Saturday evening to myself. If I see the hat, I’ll chat you up for sure.

      ——————————————————–
      “I believe I can bring passion to the team and to its players.”
      – Patrick Roy

  36. slychard says:

    Poor Spacek, he seems like such a nice guy… Boy did he get on my nerves on quite a few occasions last season. ;-)

  37. slychard says:

    By the way ClaytonM… Excellent tag. I wholly second that thought. Always wanted to tell you this.

    • Paulin98C says:

      Hey Slychard,

      I’ll be in Key West this weekend. Recommend any places? I heard that Ambrosia was a great sushi place and Bull and whistle or something like that? Regardless, where should I go eat and party?

  38. TommyB says:

    Looking at the Yemelin situation, it is quite surprising that he sits number 7/8 on the depth chart. Many Habs fans are asking “how is that?”, and some others will point to JM for the blame. We’ve seen this all before on HIO, nothing new there.

    But perhaps the blame lies directly on Yemelin himself. Is it possible he came to camp expecting to be a lock, given the fact that he was pursued by the Habs for years, and the fact that he was given a one year contract with an escape to the K clause? Is it possible that he has not worked very hard at claiming his spot? Maybe he came in feeling “entitled”. I don’t know any more than any other fan here, but this is one aspect that should be considered, while all the Habs fans are jumping up and down foaming at the mouth.

    The good news is, if Yemelin doesn’t pan out, is that he does just have that one-year contract. You do have to think the guy is capable of claiming a regular spot on this team, but if he doesn’t, it’s not the Habs brass that I put the blame on.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Or its possible he just needs more acclimatizing his game to the NHL way along with the cultural changes he is experiencing.

      • nunacanadien says:

        Well the habs never acknowledge talent, look at how JM muzzled and held Subban back from mushrooming into a real depth player, now we just watch Subban skate in circles wondering where he’s supposed to be instead of using his talent for scoring with the puck.

  39. ClaytonM says:

    I don’t see any solution to the Yemelin situation that will please every fan, but what else is new? He had a good preseason but wasn’t overly physical. So what? With all the suspensions being handed out, and the fact that the games start mattering tomorrow, why should he risk missing games to suspension or injury? It only became business as usual in Shanahan’s office on Monday, anyways. The only mark against Yemelin is that his contract is written so he has options in his own interest. Sounds like when people got on Gomez’ case for signing with the Rangers for as much as he could get.

    There will be injuries over 82 games. PK & Markov will be targeted by the Malones and Lucics of the league. Spacek and Gill aren’t getting any younger. Gorges may have less of a question mark over his health status than Markov, but he still has one. So Montreal needs to do whatever it needs to do to keep Yemelin. From what I saw, he’s played very well defensively. Let him and Diaz take turns, or give Campoli, Gill or Spacek some nights off. Isn’t having too much young talent the kind of problem you want to have?

    Worst case scenario is you take Diaz aside, explain the “hockey as a business” side of things, and send him to Hamilton for a couple of months. We went through 12 D-men last year. We’ll need more than 6 this year.

    Ken Dryden For NHL Commissioner

  40. Bob_Sacamano says:

    I am not from the “we desperately need more toughness” camp (I´d like a Darche – White – Artyukhin fourth line though) but I absolutely think it´s a mistake to play such a soft third D. Communication problems or not, I´d rather play Yemelin than either Spacek or Diaz.

  41. HabinBurlington says:

    Just a follow up on yesterdays little scuffle, is it safe to say we can BlameSubban for that?

  42. Thomas Le Fan says:

    I’ve reached my quota of “free articles”? Sorry Boone, someone else will have to read your column. I hope you called Shanahan out for the Colin Campbell-like anti-Hab decision.

  43. slychard says:

    Exactly!!! We all know how JM treats his rookies. That was my point earlier. He’s a big fast agile skater with a good hockey pedigree that needs to be coaxed in the right direction in a new league. Please JM don’t jinx him.

  44. wall2bay says:

    Funny how on the Wiz suspension, Shanny makes reference to a prior play that Cutterback did but doesn’t consider Malone’s previous actions during the game.

    Who’s the GM for Tampa again? Hmmm…

    “I kind of feel sorry for players who never got a chance to be a Montreal Canadien” – Cammalleri

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Funny how much the league office hates the Wiz. I was surprised he got the suspension for the blow me gesture at Avery, every hockey fan in the world knows players say far more vile comments every game.

      And Yah,Colon had his son in the league and now Brendan has his best friend and linemate in the league….

      • ClaytonM says:

        That’s the same as questioning the officials. You can say whatever you want, just as long as the TV cameras don’t pick it up.

        Ken Dryden For NHL Commissioner

    • Thomas Le Fan says:

      His name is Yzerman and oh yes, he and Shanahan are rumoured to be old buds. That couldn’t have affected the decision, could it? Nah. Could never happen.
      Maybe Buttman should add handling discipline to his duties, as well. He has no friends. Ha ha.

  45. Old Bald Bird says:

    Just give Emelin some game time for goodness sakes and he will adjust. His history should at least tell us that much. Or is he another of those who must be perfect and mistake free in order to get ice time?

    • Tharsis says:

      That is what scares me a little bit. I really hope JM doesn’t put him on a short leash.

      ———————————-

      Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant.

      • RGM says:

        I hope he does, simply because defence is such an important position. Yeah we’ve got one of the best in the world to bail out errors, but the way this team structures itself in its own zone, if errors are made pucks have a knack for ending up in the back of the net. I’m all for hoping that Yemelin develops quickly and learns from any mistakes that will come, but if he makes costly ones the team benefits from him not playing as often. Let’s just hope it doesn’t pan out in that fashion.

        ———————–
        GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

        • Old Bald Bird says:

          Just as long as he isn’t singled out and his leash isn’t shorter than everybody else’s.

          • Tharsis says:

            Exactly, I don’t think he should get a free ride, as he needs to earn the spot just like everyone else. But JM needs to give him enough slack so that he can get used to his new environment and show us what he is capable of.

            ———————————-

            Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant.

          • RGM says:

            He’s a rookie with 0 NHL experience. The other guys on the blueline (Diaz excepted) have earned the extra leeway. Except Spacek. All HI/O coaches know that Spacek gets zero margin for error. LOL

            ———————–
            GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

  46. slychard says:

    Anyway Yemelin will be fine but it’s nice to see Diaz showing good promise. I hope Markov comes quick then our D will be looking great. Not to mention the PP. Tomorrow can’t come soon enough.

  47. joshua94k says:

    Hockey is Canada’s game. For Canadians, their passion knows no bounds. It has been 18 years since a Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup in 1993. (How long has Cary Bettman been commissioner of the NHL?)

    What are the chances of the Stanley Cup coming back to Canada.

    For Canucks fans, forget it. Last season showed that their key players are not cut out for the toughness of play-off hockey. The Sedins went missing in action and Luongo just doesn’t have it.

    For Flames fans, Iginla is geeting older and not younger. Also, they have to make the play-offs first before fighting for the Cup.

    For Oilers fans, some top draft picks are not enough. They are still a bottom dweller team.

    For Senator fans, Kovalev left the team. What chance do they have now.

    For Jets fans, just because you have an NHL team is not worth getting too excited. Remember they were in Atlanta last year.

    For Leafs fans, you haven’t made the play-offs for the past six seasons. Don’t you get it. You have to get rid of Burke and Wilson.

    For Canadiens fans. Get excited. We have the best goalie in Price. We have Subban, Cammalleri, Gionta, Cole, Paccioretty, Gorges, Plekanecs and Markov is coming back. This is as good as a nucleus as any and this team can beat anyone.

    Remember there are no dynasty teams such as the Oilers and Islanders of the past and the field is wide open.

    What is the answer to which Canadian team last won the Satnley Cup. The answer is the Montreal Canadiens. Next spring that will be the same answer.

  48. slychard says:

    Did THARSIS kill the mood and scare everybody off or is my iPhone slowing down new posts? Lol

  49. SeriousFan09 says:

    Yemelin needs to play some games to adjust better to the NHL, hopes that Andrei Markov would be around to show him the ropes from game 1 of pre-season are quite clearly shelved and we’ll have to be a bit more patient and hope as well that Yemelin will be.

    Time to panic will be if he doesn’t get a start in the first 5-7 games of the season, that might start grating on his pride.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

    • Tharsis says:

      I agree, the habs are in a tough spot with him. Do they give him the benefit of the doubt and see how he progresses or do they sit him and potentially lose a great defender. He is not a kid and his pride will likely not allow him to sit around.

      He is at a serious disadvantage due to the language barrier, and the set-back with Markov may ultimately result in him going back to Russia.

      Hopefully not as he is sorely needed on the back end.

      ———————————-

      Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant.

      • ClaytonM says:

        I’ve been wondering the same thing about the language barrier. What language(s) do Kostitsyn, Spacek and Plekanec speak? Is Markov the only one who can translate for Yemelin?

        One other thought – if they wait to dress Yemelin until Markov returns and pair them up, that would be one way to mollify Yemelin’s pride. I see Markov taking him under his wing, as do many here. I also see Markov as having a long future with the club, either as a scout, defensive coach, or the team’s first Russian-born head coach 20 years from now.

        What’s not helping matters is everyone, media included, are anxious to start the season.

        Ken Dryden For NHL Commissioner

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          I believe AK’s first language is Russian, but the issue being is he’s not very good in English either. Not his fault, I’m **** on French and I was born in Montreal.

          – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
          SF09 on Twitter

          • Mike D says:

            Me too bro. It’s to the point where I’m almost embarrassed to tell people I’m from Montreal because the next thing out of their mouth is usually, “Oh, so you speak french then”. I feel like a total putz when I tell them that I can’t.

            – Honestly yours

    • Chorske says:

      I didn’t really get a sense that his preseason was that bad- if anything, I would have played him more. IANANHLHC, but seems to me we didn’t get much of a look at him compared to, say, Nathan Beaulieu (who was pretty much going to be sent back down regardless by virtue of age and inexperience at the pro level). Of course I have no data to back this up- I am too lazy to look up preseason ice times- but either Yemelin was invisible, or he didn’t play enough minutes for me to notice him. When I did notice him, he wasn’t bad for a guy adjusting to a new league.

      • SeriousFan09 says:

        I didn’t get the dislike of him either, he is adjusting to a new ice surface and a new style. It’s going to take more than a few pre-season games really. I’d honestly take him over Diaz in Montreal’s end.

        – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
        SF09 on Twitter

      • HabinBurlington says:

        100% agree Chorske, no way he got the looks Beaulieu got, which I found odd. Perhaps it JM is comfortable with him and has plans to slowly bring him in. Of course figuring out what the Count likes and dislikes is no easy chore.

  50. slychard says:

    I wont press the panic button like most but I’m cautiously optimistic regarding Yemelin. I think most expected the second coming because of the long courtship and subsequent ( seemingly ) let down, but let’s face it once he adjusts he should be fine. Only thing I’m worried about is JM putting him off so badly he defects back to Russia.

  51. HabinBurlington says:

    I for one am not yet worried about the Yemelin experiment. Watching a few games from the press box for starters isn’t going to hurt him, I wonder how little NHL he has watched before, never mind live. Plus he is going to find our press boxes loaded with much better food than what the KHL had to offer, oh wait that isn’t going to help this conditioning problem we all know he has based on a photo….

  52. RetroMikey says:

    I would not worry too much about Yemelin if things don’t pan out.
    It’s a 1 year contract we signed and yes, he has been a disappointment along with Weber and the big fat contract we signed on an injury prone DMan in MArkov.
    Why don’t we try Yemelin on the 4th line? He brings more on the table than Weber, toughness and speed.
    As for the Subban knee on Pax, you just don’t do that in practice and on your teammate! He knew he was wrong.
    And who says our Habs players are angels when it comes to dirty plays especially at practice?

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  53. slychard says:

    What’s up with Ben Maxwell did he make the jets?

  54. slychard says:

    Do I look like I’m the type of guy who’d have tags quoting the bible passages? Lol!

  55. slychard says:

    Great now you think I’m E1?

  56. HABZ24 says:

    yemelin has the talent for sure, i bet hes having probs adjusting because of the language barrier. he was to be paired with markov i guess but with markov out who is yemelins interpretor ? hard to get the culture and systems down not speaking the language, give him time to adjust, he,ll be fine eventually play better. diaz is a great surprise. the more depth the better. if the d can step up and price plays 65 games plus solidly and marky plays entire season, patchs steps up and gomez too with cole we can seriously go deep if not all the way !! drop the puck !!

    GO HABS GO

  57. slychard says:

    Everlasting1 is a troll? I never got that feeling from his posts.

  58. slamtherimtim says:

    if Markov still is not skating , does anyone know how hard he is working out ,

  59. slamtherimtim says:

    should bring back the thumbs up and down and the ignore button , to control the site , its not even about hockey anymore

    thanks

  60. RGM says:

    Everybody be sure to wish your Leafs-loving friends a good night’s sleep tonight, for it will be the last night ever that they will go to bed with the comfort that their team is undefeated in the 2011-12 campaign.

    Also, enough of this internecine warfare among Habs fans. Believe it or not people, we are all on the same side!*

    *Except for Everlasting1, Leafs trolls, and others that aren’t actually Habs fans yet post on a Habs hockey website.
    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

  61. JF says:

    This site has become increasingly childish and bad-tempered over the last few days, with posters hurling insults at each other and engaging in long, expletive-filled diatribes with not much substance. Perhaps when the real season begins, we can get down to discussing hockey in a serious, adult fashion. Is that too much to ask? Otherwise I’m afraid a lot of people whose comments are intelligent, knowledgeable, and penetrating will be driven away. Passion is great, but unbridled egotism and verbal abuse very rapidly become tiresome.

    • Max_a_million says:

      It’s already happened to great extent. The people who write extremely long boorish hate mail have control, the sky is always falling all around here, and it’s mostly impossible to have a thoughtful discussion without being bashed. Not sure if there is more mistruth spread as fact here, or at a Tea Party rally.

  62. --Habs-- says:

    I Think the Habs will be fine and so will Yemelin! Its a very long season and I’m sure he’ll get his chance to play more often than not. He wasn’t conditioned when he came to camp and like some have said here he probably wasn’t ready to compete against players as good or better than he as he didn’t have that kind of competition on his KHL team. Welcome to the NHL Mr Yemelin and now on to lesson # 2. Consistency!

  63. Vladdy Mondavi says:

    Two thoughts for today:
    1) I would have been ecstatic had PG traded a 4th rounder for Steckel. Anybody else?

    2) The Habs’ major off-season change is rarely addressed in analyst’s season previews: Muller’s departure. I think his departure will have a major impact on the powerplay (hence M. Godin’s article on the PP experiments) and the coaches communications with the players. In my opinion this will be the biggest impact on how this season unfolds.

  64. 24moreCups says:

    Any news on Ryan White?

  65. Mats Naslund says:

    Pre-season. DD and Yemelin will both be fine. The rest is just noise.

  66. PrimeTime says:

    Perhaps Yemelin came to camp thinking he did not need to earn a spot and got outworked. If so, then he we’ll see if he can pick it up and do so. Supposably he has the talent. We’ll see if he can learn the disciplines of playing in the NHL.

    • Max_a_million says:

      It’s always hard for me to start a new job in an new environment where things are done differently. Most HR people expect workers to be capable of their job in 6 months, and proficient in a year or two. These things take time. It takes time for Yemelin just like it takes time for us.

  67. MJ says:

    It’s comments like these from Bill on the previous thread and the now infamous posts by AB that make me realize how most people that post on HIO prefer only reading that others agree with them and dismiss anything that is opposing their opinions as a weak argument at best.

    “When you constantly resort to calling someone an ass, your point loses it’s value. Either you can prove your point with a solid argument or you can resort to name calling to entice others into believing what you’ve said.

    People here are pretty smart, it is worth questioning to better understand ones opinion or argument, and being open minded to the fact that your opinion is not always the only logical one.”

    Oh and Bill, had you bothered reading through the thread before writing this post you would have noticed that it was Berkshire that started with the name calling and insults while I resisted until he called me an ass. Obviously you’ve read the posts that lead to me going down that road with him, right? Because the last time I checked they are time stamped. Just another example of the silliness that goes around here. Not everyone on HIO is as smart as you claim Bill, few are the ones that are able to read a post and understand it correctly from the first time.

    I have better things to do with my time than to waste it arguing hopelessly with people that will never have the ability or objectiveness to even try and understand where the other party is coming from. I thought that it would be fun to debate hockey matters with some of you here, I never came here looking for an intellectual challenge as anyone that is blessed with proper intellect would tell you, places like this and open line shows hardly qualify.

    The kicker is someone like AB writing about intellectual honesty and integrity. Really? What a joke!

    No need for anyone to ban me. I don’t need this. Hockey is something I enjoy and love, I’m not going to spend my time arguing with some tart that hurls threats and insults and dismisses anything anyone else says as lacking substance and logic, unless of course HE agrees!

    • Bill J says:

      It’s comment like this one from MJ that shows me that some posters are only here to seek attention.

      I read the entire thread, I thought I made that point clear when I called out your numerous “ass” adjectives directed at Andrew.

      You will note as well, earlier (but unquoted by you) that I also called out Andrew & Dave about the argument. But you seem to only focus on what strikes your fancy.

      I was giving you the benefit of the doubt last night, and only mentioned using name calling to win your battle was rather immature.

      It’s a perception I took from yesterday’s argument, and it seems not only mine.


      If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

      Go Habs Go!

    • G-Man says:

      The rules here are simple, yet here’s a rule of thumb for you. If you don’t like a post or a particular poster, skip it. There are plenty to read if you like.
      This site can be a good place for discussion, yet somehow it all comes down to name-calling like 3rd graders at recess when disagreements arise.
      Both you and AB need to skip each other’s posts. It’s that easy.

    • Chorske says:

      Starting to get a bit whiny here. If you’re going to post, then post. If you want to leave, then leave. Mostly, write about hockey, rather than about how misunderstood you are. We all suffer from confirmatory bias, to some extent. Some folks will agree with you, others won’t. Quit trying to convert people. Talk WITH people, rather than talking AT them.

    • Tharsis says:

      Dude quit it with the whiny self indulgent posts, they are annoying. You apparently think very highly of yourself and believe we all want to read your wall of text, all it does is make it harder to skip your posts and get to the intelligent ones.

      Get over it and move on, you are coming across like a butt hurt 15 year old. Talk hockey or GTFO.

      ———————————-

      Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant.

  68. twocents says:

    Much Ado about Nothing.

    Yemelin didn’t play the last exhibition! OMG!OMG!

    One more time, it’s only fricken’ exhibition!
    Look for him and Daiz to platoon a bit, I bet. Also, injuries happen both minor and less so.

  69. Itsik says:

    Can’t you guys see that now we actually have 3 lines that are offensively built? DD and Cole should be as explosive as St louis and stamkos IMO – wait and see….

  70. The_Franchise31 says:

    Ok i guess what I wrote did come off as if I dont like him. I wish he could be that guy that never got drafter and everyone says he’s too small and he proves them all wrong and becomes an all- star I just think Eller is ahead of him and theyre maybe not be room on this team for another small center. And that he doesn’t have the best Hand skills one the habs

  71. VancouverHab says:

    Regarding Deharnais, what H-I/O needs is someone with the strength AND independence of mind to explain why not only the fans but the putatively superior writers and analysers in the media praise and predict of DD so excessively far in advance of what skills and abilities he has actually displayed.

    DD is a very good hockey player (in a league where very good hockey players jostle each other for third-line minutes) who the media and several posters here treat him like he is the reincarnation of Beliveau and Lafleur.

    I’d love a plausible explanation of the disproportionate praise DD receives: which paradoxically belittles DD’s actual journeymanlike skills by the ridiculousness of his praise in excess of his actual accomplishments or even promise.

    • The Cat says:

      Stop exaggerating, no one said hes like the next Beliveau or Lafleur. But he doesnt suck, he had close to the best, if not the best shooting percentage on the habs last year. I mean thats something. But I know Gauthier and many fans on here seem to have a real aversion to clutch player (Lapierre, Moore, Hamrlik,Halak)…All I hear is praise of Pleks, AK and Markov, and you say DD has shown nothing? Those 3 I just mentioned are the most unclutch performers in my estimation.

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  72. The_Franchise31 says:

    Patches played along pleks an cammy for a stretch last year and didn’t look out of place and I never said DD will get demoted but in 4 preseason games he was a -6 and 0 points. If that’s not gonna get you in JM’s dog house then I don’t know what will

  73. The_Franchise31 says:

    DD has had a terrible, well I won’t say terrible, but a not so good pre-season. If he doesn’t pick it up and Eller comes flying out of the gates when he’s healthy then he might find him self back in Hamilton. And too say he has the best Hand skills? Pleks, AK and Gomez beat him every way possible. I’d like to see pleks with cammy and patches and Gomez with gio and Cole. An all American, all vet, and Stanley cup champ line, that could do some damage come playoffs

    • G-Man says:

      DD has been nursing an injury. He won’t get demoted.
      Why ruin the chemistry among Gio, Pac and Gomez?

    • The Cat says:

      Even if I agreed with you and said DD has the 4th best puck handling skills on the team, why send him to Hamilton when scoring is a problem?

      [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

      • Lawrencetown Liquor Pigs says:

        Off topic, but I have a weird feeling that scoring won’t be the problem it has been in the past. 2.5 to 3 legit scoring lines seems possible. We don’t have a nuclear offensive weapon, but we do have a chance to have 4-5-6 20 goal scorers, including 2 with 30 plus. Haven’t seen depth like that since they won the conference a couple years ago….

        ____________________________________________________
        They lost me 2 quarts of rum, better make it up next year with a cup!

  74. G-Man says:

    Cole should be with Pleks and Cammy. AK has had long stretches of nothing while playing with those 2. Throw AK on the 3rd with DD and Darche until Eller gets back- then put Darche on the 4th and trade away Weber and Palushaj.
    There, all fixed.

  75. The Cat says:

    Question for everybody: Which habs forward has the best puck handling skills? I say Desharnais so I think putting Cole with him isnt so bad.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  76. RGM says:

    Life’s too short to worry about such things. If you’ve already decided that the end of the season has an outcome that you don’t like, what’s the point of even watching? The point I’m making here is that we don’t know what will happen – Carey Price could turn in a 45-win season and lead the team all the way, or he could break an ankle in December and we’ll be toast. That’s the beauty of sports: you just never know. So deciding before a single NHL game has been played in the 2011-12 season that not only are we not going to win this year, but next year too, that just doesn’t make any sense.

    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

  77. DearyLeary says:

    You realize prospects are exactly what they sound like, right? Prospects aren’t on the team by definition.

    But we do have a lot of youth on the team; in key areas to boot. Price, PK, Patches, Eller, are four important pieces that will be in the lineup for a long time. They were prospects, and at one point or another people were willing to give up on all of them.

    Prospects take time to develop, there is no standard development curve, especially for a fast dynamic sport like hockey. Stats don’t tell the story, so you need to judge their instincts every bit as much as their raw talent.

    A lot of our prospects are on the blue line, and they generally take longer to develop. In the case of forwards Michael Bournival was hurt for most of the camp, and now he’s terrorizing the Q. Brendan Gallagher is back in the W and is poised to start tearing that league up too.

    We’re not knee deep in prospects, but we’ve got depth when it comes to young players. When was the last time Montreal was going to have (presumably) three players on the Canadian team at the WJHC? That’s a very strong team that competes for gold year in year out.

    Just because other teams want to rush their prospects, doesn’t mean that the trend is a good one.

  78. HabinBurlington says:

    Last season the Habs team promoted MaxPac, Subban, White, DD, Eller from prospects to now 1way contract roster players.

    I wasn’t expecting more than 1 new face on the roster this year from our prospects, with the exception of a 4th line center, hoping Enqvist would fill the role.

    We essentially drained our NHL ready prospects over the past season. We may have a 1-2 year lull, but then suddenly we may have another bumper crops. Gallagher, Bournival, Beaulieu, Leblance, Tinordi etc…. I realize some of these guys are more than 1-2 away. My point is just that we had a nice injection of youngsters in the past season and now we can watch them improve in the NHL.

    Yemelin I am hopeful of, and just needs some patience. I don’t think PG is ready to have JM give up on him already nor do I believe JM has given up on him yet.

  79. Chorske says:

    So somehow Andrew not only goes to university and blogs about the Habs elsewhere and posts actively throughout the day… but he also manages to juggle several HIO accounts? All the while maintaining a great relationship with his lovely wife? Come on, dude. I know Andrew: he’s good, but he ain’t THAT good.

  80. ClaytonM says:

    What Eller fans see in him is his hockey smarts. He also has 6 inches on DD, 25 lbs, and played with a separated shoulder at the end of last year. Not to say he’s the next Gretzky, but he could be the next Plekanec.

    And I’m not bashing DD. The one bone people pick with him is his size, but is that his fault, being on a team with Cammi, Gomez and Gionta?

    Ken Dryden For NHL Commissioner

  81. HabinBurlington says:

    Andrei is on schedule as far as his rehab from his knee surgery,” said Martin. “Things have gone well. He’s not skating with the team yet but we are hoping that he’ll start shortly, and then hopefully at some point at the beginning of the season he’ll be able to rejoin our team.”

    Interesting news on the Markov front, sounds positive.

  82. Kooch7800 says:

    lol I read that on TSN this morning and laughed as there is no update. No timeline so I am expecting Markov to be out until at least November if not longer

  83. avatar_58 says:

    Jesus H who cares about Konopka? In fact why does the 4th line even matter? Eller is our third line center when healthy, betts/konopka/steckel/jesus/xenu won’t see more than a handful of minutes per game.

    So really, just pretend konopka wasn’t available

  84. SeriousFan09 says:

    Because Konopka is not able to do anything besides win a faceoff, or fight.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  85. RGM says:

    Why not Zoidberg?

    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

  86. SeriousFan09 says:

    Betts takes PK shifts, which is what we needed. Frees Plekanec up to be better rested for offensive shifts. Didn’t need a guy to sit in the box for having meaningless fights.

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  87. t1tan5 says:

    Except that Betts is responsible in his own zone and can kill penalties with the best of them. Konopka had chronic defensive zone lapses last year from what I read.

  88. When Eller is back DD will probably shift to wing.

    http://twitter.com/andrewberkshire

  89. Chorske says:

    There’s a summit in SoFlo?!

  90. HabinBurlington says:

    Okay, funny how much better I feel about Betts centering 4th line instead of Enqvist.

  91. Kooch7800 says:

    enqvist has some work to do. I think he can make it but he really has to start to hit. Betts was a big upgrade as his face off and defensive player are pretty sound

  92. HabinBurlington says:

    I just found watching preseason enqvist merely wore a jersey and skated. Nothing he did left me going oh okay, yah he does that well.

    He may one day be that, but was nowhere near ready for that role.

  93. HabFab says:

    Two wrongs don’t make a right my friend!

  94. This is the new play from guys like HH, MJ, The Dude and Habitant in Surrey. The fake innocence while actually being the most abusive people on the site.

    http://twitter.com/andrewberkshire

  95. Ian Cobb says:

    Just delete this then, no sense posting the garbage a second time. Delete as a gesture ? Thanks

  96. The Dude says:

    I’ve been attacked by both and so whats you point?This is not how people treat people and in the words of the late great Chief Dan George ‘i am invisible’…whoops ,wrong quote…..”I am a human being!”.And that is the true goal that scores….

  97. Ian Cobb says:

    That is why I asked him to take a deep breath and stay clear of all the nonsense. Let it go my friend, there are no winners in it. thanks

  98. The Dude says:

    Hey Ian,hope those stocks make a comeback man,things are getting effing scary buds. And talking bout buds I think I be getting rid of some “roll” evidence before Harper throws me in SuperMax.

  99. dhenry1234 says:

    yeah and look who went after Malone….. Gorges. Neither of them accomplished anything.

  100. dhenry1234 says:

    lol okay then let me re word that. Neither of them did anything to make someone not want to cheap shot anybody on their team.

  101. dhenry1234 says:

    yeah as would I, but unfortunately our roster is full right now and we don’t have any tough players that can whoop some ass and play a good game of hockey.

  102. The Dude says:

    So to be clear habsolutely ,if Andy told you the Sun has flamed out you would believe him! Now I feel sorry for you as well.You guys seriously BLOW MY MIND !

  103. M20 says:

    Nathan Horton.
    I was going to say Johnny Boychuck, but…… PK’s style makes him a target, as does his attitude. But he’s a beauty and they will step up and protect eachother on the ice this year. Good sense of team with this group.

  104. RGM says:

    PK’s more than capable of defending himself. #getchapopcornready

    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

  105. LA Loyalist says:

    my nickel is on tomorrow night.

  106. cuzzie says:

    Before judging on Campoli and Diaz let’s see what they can do. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

    Stay Thirsty My Friends!

  107. white was signed to a one way

  108. M20 says:

    Not sure why everyone is so high on malone, pretty average guy puts a borderline hit on our guy and cleans out JG (who most guys in this league can clean out) and everyone thinks he’s some sort of progidy power forward. He’s had success playing with good players in Tampa and Pitts, but he’s not a great talent or grit guy. In fact, he doesn’t do much in the way of fighting or gritty stuff regularily. He does go to the net, however. Clarkson lacks talent, but is a good 4th liner. Niether of these guys is worth AK, in my opinion, but that is obviously subjective. I’d need a pick too to make that trade. Our 4th is good, Moen, White, Betts… size, speed, sandpaper and defensive awareness. I think we should give the “wimpy combo” some time and see if they can handle the grind. Sure, you could have Sutton and Carkner back there, but you’d never get out of your own zone.
    my 2 cents

  109. solomio says:

    Gib and who’s gonna replace AK’s 20 + annual goals not to mention his physical presence?
    Dumping AK would not be a good move.

    “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  110. AK_PK_Usay says:

    What makes you think you know AKs potential?

    Did you know he suffers from Epilepsy?

    So he’s 1st in hits last year, 3rd in goals, 5th in points, +3… for 3.5mil? which is NOT top 5 salary…

    Get over your xenophobia.

  111. M20 says:

    i agree, there are those that are so frustrated by his play they would trade him for anything, and there are those who are tortured by the flashes of talent and want to ride his contract out to see if he can deliver the goods. I’d trade him, personally, if the right package came back, even prospects or picks without a roster palyer, if they were good enough. I think we have the depth to replace him internally on the thrid line. I just am not a big fan of Malone, who’s career high is 27 goals and 57 points playing with all star talent, who has only broken the 100 PIM mark once in his career, the rest is between 50-70 PIMS a year, or clarkson, who’s a great grinder, but the hands aren’t there. I too would have liked to keep SK, but the attitude was brutal on that kid. He had to go.

  112. solomio says:

    AK a slug? What..you trolling?
    Cole & DD don’t replace him they would only be covering his output and then some. With AK it’s his +20 PLUS what Cole & DD add.

    “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  113. M20 says:

    everyone knows his potential, and how his numbers appear on paper… however, it’s the 16-20 game scoreless skids, the poor playoff performances and the lack of fire he shows that piss people off, not the fact that he’s euro. Also, the Epilepsy thing has to be put to bed, he has not had issues since his draft year and has it under control. He doesn’t use it as an excuse and niether should anyone else.
    EDIT:
    That being said, I would not trade him for just anyone. I believe in his talent and think he will break out one day, but i don’t think it will be with the Habs. Malone or Clarkson, as suggested, would not be enough for me to part with a player of AK’s potential. Might be hard to sell a GM on his potential in order to get the necessary value back on a deal for him, however. My perception is he is viewed as a floater of sorts around the league. My perception and opinion, of course.

  114. solomio says:

    Hey AK…yes pretty sure most Hab’s fans on this site have heard that but it is irrelevant when speaking of his worth to the club. Some maintain that his inconsistent performances are because of the medications he has to take to combat his condition.

    “I figure PG has one or 2 moves left to bring the Habs that extra step closer to perhaps being the best in the league.” – Einstein

  115. ClaytonM says:

    I doubt White would clear waivers. Someone would pick him up.

    Ken Dryden For NHL Commissioner


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